A bipartisan pair of senators is looking to boost oversight of how agencies spend money to meet the president’s management goals, introducing a bill to give expanded authorities to a federal office that helps administer implementation of the White House’s vision.
The legislation would codify the Office of Executive Councils, which resides within the General Services Administration and consists of governmentwide policymaking entities such as the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the Performance Improvement Council and the President’s Management Council. The Governmentwide Executive Councils Administration and Results Improvement Act (S. 4828) would require the office to coordinate policy planning and legislative recommendations for each individual council. The office would oversee the deployment of shared services and project funding. It would serve as the “primary advisory body” to the White House on developing and executing agency priority goals and performance plans that are already required in federal statute.
The central office would have its own, presidentially appointed director who would “represent the collective viewpoints and priorities of the governmentwide executive councils and their membership.” That individual would be responsible for collecting and doling out funds to help agencies meet the goals as prescribed by the president’s management agenda. The office would help each council develop strategic plans and submit them to Congress.
“In every administration, the president’s management agenda is critical to advancing a more efficient and accountable government for the American people,” said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and introduced the bill. “That is why we must provide federal agencies with support and resources they need to effectively implement it.”
President Biden issued his management agenda last year with three core pillars: strengthening the federal workforce; delivering equitable services and customer experiences; and improving the federal acquisition and financial management systems. The workforce provisions included making every federal job a “good job,” shifting to a more collaborative relationship between agencies and their federal employee unions, improving the federal hiring process and attracting more young federal workers.
Peters cosponsored the bill with Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., the same pairing that shepherded the Federal Agency Performance Act (S. 4167) through the committee phase earlier this year. That bill would require more scrutiny of agency performance goals and ensure that progress toward reaching them is posted publicly. Peters and Braun said their new bill would boost accountability and transparency in how agencies use federal appropriations toward reaching their goals.
“I came from my business to Washington because I think the government should run more efficiently, like a well-run business,” Braun said. “I’m proud to introduce this bill with Sen. Peters to improve government performance and increase accountability to taxpayers to get results.”